Study Finds “The Love Hormone” May Lead to Better Sex

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Richard Gaines, M.D., FAARM, ABAARM

Oxytocin, it has been called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle chemical,” because of its known effect on human bonding. However, a new study seems to indicate that oxytocin may also lead to more satisfying sexual experiences, particularly in men.

The study was conducted by the Hannover Medical School in Germany, and published in the medical journal, Hormones and Behavior. The researchers concluded that, “oxytocin may alter specific aspects of sexual experience and partner interactions in healthy couples.”

In the study, 29 couples used a nasal spray just before sexual activity that either contained oxytocin or a placebo. They were instructed to use a provided questionnaire and to write down their experiences after engaging in sexual activities, and in particular, to compare their experiences to sex without having used the spray.

The researchers, though disappointed that oxytocin did not seem to have any effect on libido or sexual desire, found it did seem to result in more intense orgasms, and more prolonged orgasms, especially for the men in the study. A majority of the men using the oxytocin nasal spray, reported being significantly more sexually satisfied than prior to using the spray. Some women also reported their increased sexual satisfaction, but in much smaller numbers.

In a previous study using similar nasal sprays, researchers found that for men in a serious relationship, oxytocin had a particular effect on males, making them more attracted, and even more committed to their partners. Some men in that study also reported the increase in sexual satisfaction, which lead the German researchers to look further into that phenomena.

Reviewing the results of the German study, Mike Wyllie, one of the scientists that worked on developing Viagra for Pfizer, reportedly said, “an oxytocin based drug could have blockbuster potential” for improving male desire and sexual performance.

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